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Found Forms: Constructing Hermit Crab Poems

May 5, 2023 @ 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Hermit crabs are not suited to one shell for life. They constantly seek their optimal environment, one that allows them to grow as they need to. Such is the way with a Hermit Crab Poem, an inventive structured writing that Brenda Miller’s book, Tell it Slant, introduced to many people. Sometimes, in order to tell a difficult or vulnerable story, a unique “form” or structure must be found to contain the specific content.

In this participatory workshop, attendees and facilitators will together create a series of possible found forms for the poem they’d like to write, such as a field guide, a course syllabus, a marriage certificate or a resume. Hermit crab writing examples will be shared. A focus on consciously combining specific form and content will allow participants a deeper connection to the themes they choose to explore. Participants will be provided with sample hermit crab poems for guidance, time to write, and an opportunity to share their new poem and discuss their writing experience.

Both workshop facilitators have written and taught the Hermit Crab form. It is one of the most exciting structures to teach, because writers are often new to the process and very engaged and enthused to practice found forms!


May 5, 2023
3:30 pm - 4:30 pm